Abstract: Opening Plenary Session  3:15 pm (BACK)

Stream Restoration Strategies in the Wake of Colorado’s September 2013 Floods

Kevin Houck
Colorado Water Conservation Board,
Denver, CO

The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) has been leading many stream restoration efforts since the September 2013 floods.  The strategy has focused on building local watershed coalitions, enabling watershed scale master planning, and implementing stream restoration projects.  The foundation of this approach is based on the CWCB Colorado Watershed Restoration Program.  The Program exists to provide grant funds and technical assistance for stream restoration projects designed to protect or restore the ecological processes that connect land and water while protecting human life and property.  This philosophy is integral to all stream restoration activities in which the CWCB is involved.

The CWCB flood recovery team, i.e. the Stream Recovery Team, formed shortly after the September 2013 floods.  The team included many state and federal agencies as well as technical consultants.  The focus of the team was to implement emergency channel stabilization projects, develop watershed coalitions, award master planning grants, participate in regular coalition meetings, and provide technical support.  Over a year later the watershed coalitions have completed the master plans, and they are prioritizing stream restoration projects.  The Stream Recovery Team now exists to build capacity in the newly created watershed coalitions, identify funding opportunities, coordinate multi-objective projects in order to leverage resources, and facilitate the implementation of flood resilient projects.